YAC Responds

[YAC Responds: Thalia & Madison on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Thalia Medrano]

Is our world in crisis? I won’t lie, it seems to be, and if it isn’t now it will be soon. There’s no particular novelty to this crisis. We’re still dealing with the same old issues we’ve always dealt with, and finding more so called solutions the continue not to solve anything. And in 50 years I can’t help but imagine we’ll be right back here again.

img_5817I read somewhere that meaning comes from repetition; if something only happens once, it might as well have never happened at all. This is seen all the time in the context of religion. How many times have you heard someone say, “If there’s no life after death, what’s the point of living?”

But I say that meaning isn’t rooted in repetition or continuation, and is instead found in change and rarity. And in a time when we are facing the same old issues we always have, we have to seek out something new. Hope comes from possibility, from creation. There’s no value to a world that can’t change.

So remember that we aren’t stuck, there is possibility in everything. History isn’t doomed to repeat itself so long as we keep creating. And there’s no wealth of creation and possibility like art.  

[Madison Hart]

When walls are built and curtains drawn. When the human soul masks its pain. When all the world seems enraged. When the only hues are black and gray. It is then that hearts long for and even needs a splash of color breaking through the rain. The art of hurt is so easily displayed on canvas, paper and a window pane. It is here where mortal enemies bond together as they share one thing in common, despair. When we realize that we’re not all that different, we fall to our knees and humbly exclaim, “we are brothers, we are sisters, let us stand.” This revelation explodes. A country landscape, a colorful myriad of tiles, a poem for the soul, a bench to sit and observe. So, that when the walls crash down and the curtain is torn. When a soul is released from unthinkable pain. When all the world seems peacefully sane. It is then that we see the black hues turn to cherry blossoms and gray’s turn to rainbow sunsets. Then we sit on the bench, the bench with the placard that says, “to my brothers and sisters with whom I stood tall, we made the walls fall.”

[YAC Responds: Abigail & Lucy on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Abigail Munson]
Dip
The world
In
Honey
Everything slows
To a tangible
Stumble
The billboards
Stuck in the sky
Bleeding like
Crucified martyrs
Grabbing your attention
Proclaiming–
Emotional, economic, egotistical
DEVASTATION
This honeycombs inside
Your head
Growing like cluster crystals
On your skull
Manifesting a temple
In flashing renaissance gold
And dirty green
You learn to worship this
To create the divine
From signs, and shows
And endless streams of
Fluorescent words
Halo-ed and hollowed
Eternalized icons
Your HOME-MADE GOD
Lives in technicolor
And watches this EDEN-REALITY
On Repeat.

[Lucy Earl]
Oxford Commas
You know what art is?
The oxford comma.
Never have I seen such a beautiful symbol
Except perhaps the interrobang (look it up)
But that’s not the point.
Oxford commas are empowering.
Look at how long they’ve survived.
That oxford comma has endured hatred and debates,
And yet some loyal people have understood the importance of the good old oxford comma
So there it stands.
A beautiful disruption
Yet it manages to pull everything together as one.
Let’s all be oxford commas.
Let’s disrupt this crazy world as beautifully as we can.
And we’ll pull each other up along the way.
Because this is art
And it’s saving us all.

[YAC Responds: Aiyana & Christian on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Aiyana Spear]

I believe that art doesn’t need a purpose. To do art, all you need is the drive to do it. But in times of crisis, art is one of the most valuable tools out there that can help people.

When I’m scared, I turn to stories. When I’m feeling hopeless, I turn to words. My sister turns to music, my friends turn to comics, movies, shows, watercolors, calligraphy, and (of course) books. In class when we are discussing tough topics, we always take breaks and do drawing competitions or lip sync battles.

img_5816Happiness, love, hope are the most important things that can help a person through a crisis. Art creates these emotions. Stories help to ground, help make sense of seemingly incomprehensible things. Music can bring peace and stability. Movies, shows, provide escape, painting is peace. All forms of art are works of love, and that love, that power, can help people get through crises, get through hell.

[Christian Wilson]

If you’re stranded in the middle of the forest with a Rembrandt, don’t be afraid to use that priceless son of a gun as kindling in a fire. One of the most common deaths when stranded in the wilderness is hypothermia, and if you can’t get a fire going, you will get sick and you will die. Remember, Van Gogh used to use burn his paintings for warmth and if an artistic master has no qualms about setting artistic masterpieces aflame, then you shouldn’t either. Even if the only reason you’re holding the authentic oil on canvas painting is so you can auction it off to a shady group of Russian oligarchs, remember that despite its acclaim, The Night Watch is not worth your life. Although, given the fact that that painting is twelve by eleven feet, you could probably also the canvas as a tent. While you lay awake at night, wondering if you will die in the untameable Scandinavian wilderness, you can also study the intentional strokes made by one of the greatest painters that ever lived. Art students across the globe have studied every tiny intricacy of the famous tarp that could shield you from the harsh elements. To me, that’s real prestige.

[YAC Responds: Ellen & Sierra on What is the Purpose of Art in the Time of Crisis?]

[Ellen Huggins]

Art is the byproduct of everything that occurs us, so the result of more happenings in our lives; more chaos, more anger, is more art trying to find the meaning of it.

[Sierra Karas]

art is everything

Life is far too monotonous. We drive the same way to work every day. We come home to the same house, the same life, the same bed. We are caught in our habits because they are easy and because they are comfortable. But art is not supposed to make you feel comfortable. It is supposed to invoke feelings you haven’t felt before, it is supposed to be a call to action, a call to something, even if that somethings is small and simple. Maybe the message is just to be kind. Maybe it’s to change the world. And maybe, those are the same things.

Art is there to wake you up, to jolt you and bring you back to life, it is there to scream and to shout, to direct your attention to what truly needs your attention. When we’re in crisis, chaos, or social disruption, we need this wake up call. We need a platform from which we can voice our opinions and get messages for change out there.

We need to unite, and what better way to unite then to see similar or dissimilar opinions plastered down the boulevards until your eyes and ears and hearts have nowhere to hide from the problems at hand. (more…)

[YAC Responds: Adam & Katy on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Adam Dorsheimer]

The fight for hope can be a painful one, especially when you’re fighting against large men armed with cleavers and your hope is a Picasso in the rain. This is not a metaphor, we were terrified.

[Katy McDonald]

My heart often hurts when I look at color. The brininess of the world can often be painful when you wish it to be dim.  The pulsating purity of the sky it what reminds us that we are in fact alive.

The walls and structures that we have build to hold on to what we believe in crumble and fade, by that bright sky reminds us that the rest of the world is still there. I think that’s how I find myself here time and time again.

Surrounded but by the remnants of torched souls. Without the bright colors of the outside world, the faded colors of the past comfort me. There was once a time when every creator looked upon the world with a heavy heart, of that I am sure. They look at the hand dealt them by fate and decide that it was enough.

Maybe the sat down maybe the thought, but they all created. No matter the poverty, corruption or despaired they thought they could may the hard world seem a little more beautiful.

I like to think that there are people who would look at the bright sky the told him to live and there began to compose. That is just simply a theory. (more…)